CBC Consultation: An End to 5 Year Tenancies and Introduction of Lifetime Tenancies? Have Your Say

  • The Council's proposed strategy will see an end to the use of five-year fixed term tenancies and offer secure tenancies often referred to as 'lifetime' tenancies.

The key proposal is to end the use of Fixed-Term Tenancies and to offer their general needs tenants a secure tenancy upon successful completion of an introductory period, often referred to as ‘lifetime’ Tenancy Agreement.

These proposed changes are currently being consulted on, and you are invited to take part.  The closing date is Friday 28 January 2022.

A spokesperson for Central Bedfordshire Council said, “The changes are a key part of improving our housing management services and, also as a response to the many changes in legislation and good practice affecting social housing that have taken place since the last review eight years ago.

“We have listened to previous feedback from our tenants and housing partners and the draft strategy sets out the councils’ proposed changes to give social housing tenants more security, and to aid the Council’s Housing Team and, other housing partners, the ability to better manage social housing stock and have more time to tackle anti-social behaviour and tenancy fraud.”

The Council is doing this because The Localism Act 2011 requires that all local housing authorities prepare and publish a tenancy strategy setting out the kinds of tenancy they will grant and the circumstances under which they will grant them. Their system needs to be updated to reflect current attitudes at local and national level as set out in the white paper The Charter for Social Housing Residents, published in 2020.

Tenancies could be used to require single people living in family homes, which were previously suitable for their needs, to move to a smaller property and enable the property to be allocated to families.

The council currently issue introductory tenancies to the majority of its new tenants for an initial 12-month period. After that, then they may be issued with a longer, 5-year, flexible fixed-term tenancy. There is no limit to the number of flexible fixed-term tenancies that can be issued. These two tenancies are distinct and the Council says the current process requires a significant amount of work to administer.

Presently, CBC housing officers must meet with tenants regularly throughout the introductory tenancy, at the end of the initial 12-month period, and then towards the end of every 5-year period to review and where necessary sign a new agreement.

The draft Tenancy Strategy has been prepared following a review of the use of flexible fixed-term tenancies. This review has identified that the use of flexible fixed-term tenancies has not made a significant contribution to the better management of their social housing stock or to the experience of itsresidents.

Although it might seem that offering fixed-term tenancies is a fairer system, the reality is that most people are not able to transform their housing options within a 5-year period. Many tenants can be social tenants for a significant period of time, and they may move on a number of occasions as their circumstances or needs change.

So, what they're proposing is,  to stop the use of 5-year fixed-term tenancies and instead issue secure (commonly known as lifetime) tenancies to their residents at the end of their 12-month introductory tenancy.

You are invited to have your say on this. But what are they asking you? 

1.  Do you agree with stopping the use of five year flexible fixed-term tenancies (FFTT) and instead issue secure (commonly known as lifetime) tenancies?
2. Do you feel flexible fixed-term tenancies could still be used?
3a. Do you think that lifetime tenancies will provide more security for CBC tenants? 3b. Do you think that lifetime tenancies will help the Council officers?
3c. Do you think  fixed-term tenancies could help tenants if they want to consider a move to find a more suitable home?

  • To answer these questions go to the questionnaire on the CBC website.
  • If you'd like to read more details before answering the questions start here and follow all the subsequent pages leading up to the questionnaire.


EMAIL SUBSCRIPTIONS — If you enjoyed this post and never want to miss out on future posts please subscribe to Follow It»